iPad Air vs. (Re-Issued) iPad 4: 4 Reasons Why the Latest & Pricier iPad Build is the Better Buy

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By Erik Pineda | March 20, 2014 4:20 PM EST

Apple retired the second-gen iPad this week and breathed new life to the iPad 4, offering the ageing iOS tab anew for $400 with supposedly significant improvements in camera and other key features.

REUTERS/Robert Galbraith
The iPad Air. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

Pitted versus the latest iPad Air, the iPad 4 appears tempting as buyers can save $100 and take home a device with relatively similar features and capabilities. Looking closer, however, the extra cash that the Air demands seems worthy of the investment, at least over the long-term considerations.

Here are the four reasons why you should pick the iPad Air over the 2102 model:

The latest inner components

Firstly, the iPad 4 is no push-over with its A6X chip and a graphic engine that fires up the device's 2048 x 1536 screen resolution, which renders in Retina display technology. If the intention of would-be buyers is to nominally play games, watch movies on the go and enjoy the Internet while moving around, the fourth iPad will not disappoint.

But it must be noted that the same iPad 4 is more than a year old and time is catching up with the device - not too soon but eventually it will. That is problem that will not nag the iPad Air, perhaps over the next the three years.

The Air boasts of a 64-bit A7 chip that Apple advertises as forward-looking. While the entire mobile device landscape is yet 64-bit compliant, buyers of the iPad Air can take comfort on the fact that once 64-bit becomes the full standard, the gadget is all set up.

Most of the iPad 4 specs and features are ported to the iPad Air and more. One premium offering is the 128GB storage option, which ensures that users can accumulate large chunk of electronic files over time and not worry about sufficient space.

Sleeker and edgier design

The iPad 4 was outsold by the compact iPad Mini because the latter used a different design language. In other words, even when overwhelmed in power, the Mini was a blockbuster because it is pretty - simply irresistible.

That was in late 2012 and for the most part of 2013. Later last year, Apple decided to give its fifth iPad the makeover treatment. The result is a slimmed down, thin, light and beautiful piece of slab that Apple fans embraced.

Even as the iPad Air shed heft and weight, it absorbed more power and the screen kept the 9.7-inch profile. But the design was so good, thanks to the Mini-like thin bezel that surrounds the screen, the iPad Air transmitted the illusion that it has the biggest iPad screen ever. And millions believed that.

Better portability

Sitting side by side, it is obvious that the iPad Air is easier to handle than the heavyset iPad 4. Lugging it around is a non-issue as the Air is thinner and lighter, easy to slide in even on medium-size bags. More so, handling the iPad Air promises less strain thanks largely to the redesign that eliminated significant mass off the device.

A1 value

Reviews of the iPad Air highlighted its longer operating hours but really the best value that the tablet can give is longevity due to its top-notch components and the advanced engineering behind it. As mentioned, the Air is future-proof for a number of years or even more depending on users' preference plus care and handling.

For many the extra 100 bucks is worth the trouble if the promise is utmost useful that can be stretched beyond expectations. Between the iPad Air and the iPad 4, it is the latter that is most likely to deliver.

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(Photo: REUTERS/Robert Galbraith / )
The iPad Air. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith
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